Labour Board sides with teachers

Teachers will not have to write report cards or reimburse their employer.

  • Dec. 1, 2011 2:00 p.m.

Teachers will not have to write report cards or reimburse their employer any of their salaries and benefits, said the BC Labour Relations Board (LRB).

On Tuesday, the LRB dismissed an application from the B.C. Public School Employer’s Association (BCSPEA) submitted on Oct. 26. BCPSEA requested report cards be changed to an essential service, and that the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) reimburse 15 per cent of monthly wages since teachers stopped doing administrative tasks as part of job action at the start of the school year.

Campbell River District Teachers’ Association President Neil Thompson said he is pleased.

“I was very excited,” said Thompson. “It’s hard to think that report cards would be essential in the context of essential service so I was hoping that they would realize that.”

However, BCPSEA maintains that it would like report cards issued, and is “disappointed” with the decision.

“We are very disappointed with the decision,” said BCPSEA Vice-Chair Alan Chell in an e-mail.

“We want to see report cards issued because we believe parents and students expect and value formal report cards in our public education system.”

Chell said that the pay reimbursement request was made in an effort to put pressure on BCTF.

Thompson says teachers are doing their jobs by being in classrooms teaching and are keeping lines of communication open with students and parents. He’s thrilled with the LRB’s decision, not only because teachers won’t have to give money back but because it comes down to principle as well.

“The board, in their ruling, talked about the fact that teachers aren’t doing 85 per cent of their work, they’re doing 100 per cent of their work and teaching their regular hours in the classroom, and so I’m very happy that they recognized that.”